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I don't have the pic on this phone, I think there's one in the suskie 21 thread of one of the brightest ones I've ever seen , pic definitely did it no justice, that joker was nearbout glowing it was so orange, caught in deep water real late in the year.

I love seeing all the different colors they can be. That one next to that coke can is beautiful!
 

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Bill, in OkC
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I just looked at that photo again.
Nowhere near dark.
It was my own shadow darkening it a bit. I guess I'll have to try to take better pictures.
 

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I've never really been able to make any correlation between color and any specific factor, other than ,in the fall when I fish deep, every once in a while I'll get a super bright golden/orange colored flatty. But even then, may catch a bright orange one, then the next fish is dark brown.

Thinking about it, I guess it does seem like the younger fish tend to exhibit the mottled patterns more, where I fish at least. Wonder how quick they can change color, are they pigmented like humans, where we are generally 1 color scheme with relatively slight variations based on environmental factors, or are their bodies able to change fairly quickly, based on their environment?

They definitely exhibit broader color /pattern variety than most species, in our waters at least, wonder how much of it is genetic and how much of it is environmental.
Part of their coloration is actually temperature dependent. I found this out once when I was first starting out with catfish and put one in the cooler without bleeding it out because I needed to get to the corner store quickly... Anyway long story short(er), is that I had tossed the bag on top of it, then came back just a few minutes later to let someone take a picture, and there was a very pronounced color change where the ice had touched, with sharply defined edges where it didn't. Fish was still alive at this point, & I was going to bleed it right after the pics, but out of curiosity, instead I went back to the river and put it out on a stringer. In about 10-20 minutes it was reverted to the same all-over color as when I picked it up the first time!
Somewhere, I've got the pics of that fish, I'll have to dig for them though
 
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